Definition: add (a component or accessory) to something that did not have it when manufactured.
I love a good doco (documentary). While David Attenborough thrills us with the natural world, I think the doco’s I like the most are those that involve great engineering. Whether it’s impossibly high skyscrapers, massive ships or landing craft on Mars, I love it when creative minds set on a challenge and achieve something that others thought impossible. I watched one recently on retrofitting San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is renowned as a great feat in engineering. While it withstands gale force winds, salt corroding fogs, turbulent tides and the ever-present pounding of the North Pacific Ocean, these are nothing compared to the Golden Gate’s greatest danger that sits just 7 km’s to the West. There, to close for comfort, is the San Andreas Fault. This highly active fault line is a ticking bomb for San Francisco and its iconic bridge.
So the city has embarked on a painstaking seismic retrofit that will cost in excess of $600- million to complete. In 1906 a major earthquake basically destroyed San Francisco and the scientists have said the next ‘big one’ is coming. Therefore, hundreds of workers are retrofitting the bridge with the ability to withstand an 8.4 earthquake. It’s also interesting to note that because this earthquake could happen at any time, the workers can only replace two bolts at a time. So it’s a long process to equip this bridge to stand the eventual ‘big one.’ I know you’re enjoying a bit of education about the Golden Gate Bridge but I would like to throw in a parallel to our lives. Another way of saying ‘discipleship’ is ‘to undertake a retrofit of our lives, making us stronger and able to withstand all that may shake around us.’ The bible does tell us that a disciple will be able to stand and after having done all, stand. (Ephesians 6:13)
In the process of retrofitting the bridge, they are installing these amazing bearings. These bearings are made of lead and rubber (LRB) and are pivotal in absorbing energy. They prevent the energy emanating from a quake from impacting the whole structure. As our lives are retrofitted, components of faith are added that are able to absorb forces that would generally cause a structural failure. As the shield of faith in scripture extinguishes all the flaming arrows, these lead rubber bearings (LRB) absorb the full force of the continental plates shifting. The cost of the retrofit is high yes, just like the cost of becoming a disciple, but a life that can withstand a ‘big one’ when it hits is worth the commitment and expense. The life of a disciple will not be immune from the shaking of life’s challenges and at times it will need to withstand external forces totally out of its control. Yet a life retrofitted by God is a life that can stand, and after having done all, still be standing. The Apostle Paul sums it up well; ‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.’ (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
So get on this retrofit journey, keep on the journey and eventually what will be created in your life will not just be a marvel for a moment, but an unstoppable legacy for a lifetime and beyond.

William Dumas

“Gary has equipped our leadership team with incredibly practical and achievable methods of helping those in our lives who may battle with various forms of mental illness. His presentation was very engaging and inspiring. The fact that he teaches from a place of personal experience and victory evokes passion and hope into those who hear his wisdom. Thanks Gary for turning what can be a taboo issue into something tangible that has empowered us to help others.”

Justin Pearson C3CH


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